Tokyo 2020: Fighting Gender Inequality

Written by sports guru- Wallace Muya:

Just two-and-a-half years before the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, the city has decided to go wild! The International Olympic Committee (IOC), on June 9th 2017, approved the city’s proposed event program for the 2020 games.

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New Events:

The 2020 Summer Olympics will boast of significant improvements for gender equality. There will be twice as many mixed events as there were in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. In Tokyo, there will be 18 mixed events that will include a triathlon, judo, table tennis, archery, athletics and swimming relays.

For the women’s games, there will be the introduction of women’s boxing, canoeing and archery. These three were previously open to men only.

The Tokyo Games will also include new events like three-on-three basketball and freestyle BMX, in addition to five brand new disciplines: Karate, Surf, Climbing, Skateboarding and Baseball.

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Tokyo Vs Rio vs London:

The Tokyo Games will include a total of 321 events, compared to 306 in Rio and 302 in London. The total number of athletes, however, is lower, with 285 fewer Olympians than in 2016. The reduced number of athletes is expected to “reduce the games’ footprint” on the environment.

tokyo olympic games 2020

This infograph can be downloaded from here.

“The most gender-balanced games in the history of the Olympics”:

IOC Member and President of the International Triathlon Union, Marisol Casado, thinks these changes are “an excellent step toward gender equality.” Commenting on the changes, IOC President Thomas Bach said:

The fascinating new events that we approved today, together with the five new sports that were added to the Tokyo 2020 program last year, represent a step-change in the Olympic program. I am delighted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be more youthful, more urban and will include more women.

As the IOC explains: “Four new International Federations (IFs) will move to gender-balanced in events for the first time (Canoe, Rowing, Shooting and Weightlifting).” In terms of numbers of athletes, six International Federations will be gender-balanced for the first time (Canoe, Judo, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, and Weightlifting.)

Tokyo has also worked to achieve gender balance in BMX Racing, Mountain Bike and Freestyle Wrestling. The total number of female participants will be higher than ever, at a record breaking 48.8%, making these “the most gender balanced games in the history of the Olympics.”

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